Distance: 363km (Cumulative: 18 179km)
Moving time: 9:05
Average speed: 40km/h
Road surface: 75% Tar, 25% Gravel
Sankere Hotel - R90 p.p
Hot shower and breakfast included, clean sheets with mosquito net
We wanted to leave as early as 08:00, but the overland truck was going nowhere. Most of the passengers were still having breakfast and lounging around, at least their tents were already packed up. By 08:30 Caro asked the driver when they are leaving and he said in 5 minutes. Finally at 08:47 we could drive out of the Backpackers.
We stopped at Sawa City again to buy some salami and chorizo before setting off for the border. The road to the border is again a perfect tar road with amazing views of the mountainous Rwanda. We stopped at a valley full of rice paddies to take some photos.
87km before the border we stop at the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Centre Cafe for a Cuppacino and to support the crafts shop. The coffee beans are freshly ground and the Cuppacino was the best coffee we’ve had in Rwanda. Hugo also had the opportunity to use their compost toilets. These ones were so ‘advanced’ that urine and feces go into separate holes and tanks. The urine are mixed with 5 parts water and used as a fertilizer for the grass and plants. The feces are covered with ash everyday and once the container gets full it is mixed with hay and left for a year before being used as compost in the garden.
We finally made it to the Rusumo border post at 13:26. This border post had the potential to be the fastest, cleanest and most efficient border yet. There were no queues and everything is under one roof. We were stamped out of Rwanda and into Tanzania in a minute.
We then, however, had to wait 40 minutes for the Rwandan Customs officer to show up just so that he canstamp the Carnet which took less than 30 seconds. The Tanzanian customs officer then took another 30 minutes to fill in the vehicle details in the computer. He would ask for the seating capacity and then 5 minutes later for the colour of the vehicle. Then another 5 minutes later he would only ask for the engine capacity. It went on like this for ages.
Finally we could pay the 56 000 Shillings road tax at the NMB bank which is also in the same building and then we had to wait another few minutes for the payment to ‘reflect’ on their system, before the final document could be printed. By the time we left it was already 16:13 (two hours waiting and one hour later, Tanzanian time).
We didn’t have an end destination in mind, but there were some options listed on iOverland, none of which sounded like a place we wanted to overnight at.
We past the first two options as it was still early and thus aimed for Nyakanazi. We got there by 18:00. It is just another small village like town so Hugo suggested we just continue to Kigoma and see what happens.
Just before it got dark we stopped at a shack to try and buy Vodacom airtime. Hugo wanted to buy 10 000 TZS, but the guy only had 500 TZS scratch cards so he had to give us 20 of them. When Caro finished scratching and entering only 10 of them it was completely dark.
The only place which sounded reasonable to overnight at on this road was in Kibondo and the last checkin for it on iOverland was in 2013. We however decided to give it a shot. We got to Kibondo at 21:00 and almost turned around when the road took us between very rural village shacks and typical African nightlife with fires and people playing pool next to the road. We got to the hotel which was actually a four story building rising up between the other informal buildings. The owner came running out and welcomed us. We thus decided to stay.
We got a double room with flushing toilet and hot shower for 30 000TZS including breakfast. There was even a very cool mosquito net over the bed and a multiplug for charging. We went to sleep on a proper bed for the first time since Ethiopia. We’ve been sleeping in a tent every night for more than a month.